One of the highlights of All-Star Weekend is the Futures Game, an event where fans can see some of the game's future stars. There are undoubtedly players at every position who will be playing that same weekend in the MLB All-Star Game eventually. For teams like the Chicago Cubs, it's a time where fans can get excited for the future, as their team's eventual stars will be in action on national television.
The Cubs' top two prospects (before the acquisition of shortstop Addison Russell) will be playing in the game and will be able to show the rest of the league where the Cubs may be headed in the next few years.
Those two players, third baseman Kris Bryant and shortstop Javier Baez, will try to show off their talents as they inch closer and closer to the big leagues. As they move more toward the ultimate goal of playing for the Cubs, here are updated scouting reports for the two players the Cubs hope will be playing on All-Star Weekend as members of the Cubs in the near future.
3B Kris Bryant
Bryant has been the best hitter in all of minor league baseball this season, already realizing his power and average potential in Double-A and Triple-A. Combined between the two levels in 2014, Bryant is hitting .355 with 30 home runs and 80 RBI. Those are eye-opening numbers and are actually better than the lofty expectations that were heaped on him when he was drafted.
|3B Kris Bryant||30||80||.355||76||11|
Coming out of the draft in 2013, Bryant was widely considered the best college hitter, as he hit 31 home runs in his final season at the University of San Diego. The total of next closest power hitter? Twenty-one.
For a couple years, Bryant has been blowing prospects and fans away, especially now that he's on pace for 48 home runs and 129 RBI this season. Based on his dominance in the minor leagues, it's not out of the question that the budding star could be the Cubs third baseman on Opening Day in 2015.
SS Javier Baez
It would be a good bet that Baez is the best No. 2 organizational shortstop in baseball. After the Cubs traded Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics for top shortstop prospect Addison Russell, outfielder Billy McKinney and right-handed pitcher Dan Straily, it seems Baez may be on the move. Russell is a more pure shortstop, so Baez's plus arm may move him into right field eventually.
This season started as a disaster for Baez, but he's turned things around lately. His overall numbers still aren't where he and the Cubs would like them to be, but he's getting closer to being major league-ready.
His slash line of .241/.310/.448 is less than impressive, but again, he's rebounding from an extremely slow start. He has some of the greatest power potential in the entire minor leagues and could be showing that off for the Cubs somewhere at the start of 2015.
|SS Javier Baez||13||50||.241||46||15|
As long as he can cut back on his swing-and-miss issues, Baez is well on his way to being an everyday player for the Cubs in the near future.